About Laurie Smither:
Laurie Smither spent the first ten years of his career working in New Zealand’s high country as a shepherd and shearer. After that, he worked a wide variety of jobs, including heavy machine operator, landscaper, reporter, language tutor in northwest China, and most recently a beekeeper. He has dual Irish and New Zealand citizenship and currently lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Smither is married, has three grown children and is now retired. The historical novel, Journey from Donegal, is his first book.
What inspires you to write?
Well, at 71 years of age, I thought, “Why the hell not?” I had nothing to lose. Ego was a thing of the past and if I made a fool of myself it was not going to worry me greatly. I had from an early age been a voracious reader of anything between two covers and came to greatly admire authors and their ability to spin a story. Be it fact or fiction; a good read that would transport me into another world. I’m an introvert and that helped with the writing. Introverts are usually passable wordsmiths.
I guess I was a young old timer by the time I was 30 years old having spent 10 years in the back country shepherding and shearing on New Zealand sheep stations where one still got to take a peep at the life and attitudes in the “Old Days”. There, I worked with some characters including the last of the remittance men and met and had a few beers of an evening with real old timers born in the last two decades of the 19th century. Even dug graves for three of them. These men imbued me with a sense of that era. This book is based on my great grandfather and great grandmother as a frame, only, on which to hang a story. They emigrated from Ireland to New Zealand in 1875 with two infant children and the story is woven from the personalities and stories of the people I have been privileged to meet over 71 years.
Tell us about your writing process.
The main things I learned about writing this novel is to do the bloody thing. Plan. But not too much. Planning for me was creating waypoints in logical order then sitting down and writing. Twenty three chapters with 15 waypoints each. This puts a halter on the verbals and stops the literary nag from bolting over the horizon.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep going and don’t look back until the first draft is finished. Time enough for rewriting, corrections and research with the second draft. By then you might be quite pleased with yourself.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was going to go with CreateSpace, but decided that I didn’t have the technical savvy to do this. Besides, I wrote the book on a Microsoft Surface Tablet and I didn’t think that it was up to the job, so I published with Dragon Tree Books – a self-publishing platform for authors. One of their affiliates was my copy editor. In future, I would tackle the publishing through CreateSpace. Much cheaper!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will always be readers, though fewer and fewer who read fictional hard copy as we eventually die off. E-books seem to be the way of the future.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Historical Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Laurie Smither Page On Amazon
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.